Getting on Brand

By Bill “McSciFi” McCormick

Full transparency here. I do not work for or with any video sharing websites. But I do use them. A lot.

If you have a promo video that’s embedded on pages you don’t control (i.e., media, promotions, your publisher, etc.), or hope to at some point in your career, make sure you use a link from Vimeo and not YouTube. YouTube requires you to upload a new video, and generate a new link, with every iteration. With Vimeo, you just replace the video and send your affiliates a friendly email letting them know. This is also a much easier method for updating your web site.

When you use Vimeo you’re not counting on everyone to update links and do work on your behalf. Which, nine times out of ten, won’t happen and defeats the purpose of the update. I keep a small list, just under fifty names, in a segregated file on MailChimp and use that when I make updates. It’s a nice way to stay in touch, not bomb them with spam, and make sure my rare contacts with them are important (at least to me).

This is my fourth update to this video in a little over two years. Each time I send an email related to it I remind them the content has changed, but not the link, so they need do nothing. Then I say nice things about them.

It’s a great way to stay in touch, remind them I’m alive, and show I’m a professional who is in control of his brand. Bonus, without fail, I get, at least, two media requests (interviews or appearances) every time I do it.

Now, all that being said, if you don’t have a promotional video you’re missing an important tool in your tool-belt. Whether a brief selection of reviews, like I use, or a personal video saying hi, or just a musical tribute to current titles like S. Shane Thomas has, videos stimulate multiple sense simultaneously, and give you complete control of your brand.

After all, it’s your images, music, creations, and overall vibe. It’s the perfect way to put your best foot forward in a convivial manner.

On a related tangent, too many authors have no idea how to do bare bones branding. For example, I’m Bill McSciFi on my website, Facebook, Amazon/author, Twitter, Good Reads, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Vimeo. I see too many authors using wildly different names across social media. Bob the Author on one, Writer Bob on another, and Bob The Electric Penguin Polisher on yet a third. None leads to the other naturally. None give readers a base to work from, or a convenient way to search for Bob’s creations.

If you want to be John Doe Writer, go for it. Just be John Doe Writer everywhere. Then you and your fans only have to remember one name. Speaking as someone who worked in the music industry for decades, and for multiple advertising agencies along the way, I can share one universal truth; The harder you make it for people to find you the less likely they are to try.


8 thoughts on “Getting on Brand

  1. victoracquista says:

    Hey Bill, thanks for sharing your expertise around branding. I’ve done a batch of things with YouTube but not with Vimeo, so I need to get up to speed there. In general, I agree about the importance of branding and consistency across platforms.

    I think branding is easier for genre writers than it is for those writing in multiple genres and in both fiction and nonfiction, but it still can be done. I’m curious as to whether you write non-science fiction and if so how you incorporate that into your branding.

    Liked by 1 person

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